July 5, 2008
You check in at the airline ticket counter. But instead of a boarding pass, you get shackled with an electronic bracelet which tracks your every move, contains all your personal information, and can shock you senseless. This vision of the future of air security is being floated around the Department of Homeland Security’s research and development office.
According to a video promoting the so-called EMD Safety Bracelet, all airline passengers would be required to wear it “until they disembark the flight at their destination.”
The device, in addition to storing all of your sensitive personal information and tracking you with GPS, would allow someone to activate it remotely and immobilize the wearer for several minutes. This is EMD, or electro-muscular disruption.
And the Department of Homeland Security is interested in buying them.
According to a letter from Paul S. Ruwaldt of the DHS Science and Technology Directorate, the department is interested in using them to control illegal immigrants as well as “prisoner transportation, detainee control and . . . to improve air security, on passenger planes.”
Would every paying airline passenger flying on a commercial airplane be mandated to wear one of these devices? I cringe at the thought. Not only could it be used as a physical restraining device, but also as a method of interrogation, according to the same aforementioned letter from Mr. Ruwaldt.
Would you let them put one of those on your wrist? Would you allow the airline employees, which would be mandated by the government, to place such a bracelet on any member of your family?
While you’re celebrating your paid day off work today, government officials are hard at work looking for new and innovative ways to take away your freedom. You thought they were protecting your freedom?
Here’s what will happen if these things ever get used on airplanes. First, a lot of people will simply refuse to fly. Who can blame them? A lot more will refuse to fly when the first reports of how these things get used surface. One “unruly” passenger starts making noise on the plane and the crew, who have this nice shock collar device, aren’t going to spend a few minutes looking up which of the 87 passengers he is, especially if they “feel threatened.” They’re just going to shock everyone on the plane. Including you and your kids.
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